MUST READ: The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) together with Uganda Police Force have started an awareness campaign in a bid to popularize the new express penalty scheme intended to deter non-compliance to environment laws and to prevent environment degradation
The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga told journalists on Monday, March 6 that they will in the next four weeks make the public aware of the penalty scheme in regards the compliance of environment laws.
He said the awareness campaign will go on until March 31 before the enforcement starts on April 1.
“Environmental police and our police in all jurisdictions has teamed up with NEMA and other stakeholders to continue with expansive awareness drives as a countdown to the enforcement of laws and regulations on littering and noise pollution. Littering and noise pollution have become an epidemic in the country with streets, roads, gardens, compounds and drainages plagued with litter and revelers, pedestrian and motorists dropping litter. We will be using CCTV cameras to observe and arrest those littering,”Enanga said.
He said Police and NEMA will team up with KCCA, UPDF, NGOs, religious leaders and local governments to conduct a robust education program on how to counter littering and noise pollution ahead of the enforcement next month.
The National Environment Management Authority recently warned the general public that effective 1st, April 2023 it shall in addition to existing criminal prosecution measures; commence an Administrative Penalty Scheme for environment breaches in line with Section 172 of the National Environment Act, No.5 of 2019.
The express penalty scheme is intended to deter non-compliance to environment laws and to prevent environmental degradation through payment of monetary penalties (fines).
Under the Express Penalty Scheme, the offender will be required to pay a fine within the prescribed time frame and in a specific bank account. The notice will specify the date and nature of the alleged contravention, a summary of the facts that NEMA or authorized officer alleges, and the amount payable.
Some key offences include; Littering from cars or driving a car without a dustbin attracts a maximum fine of up to UGX 6,000,000
Other offences under waste management include;
• Leaving rubbish outside residential premises will attract a maximum fine of up to UGX 6,000,000
• Littering from commercial buildings attracts a maximum fine of UGX up to 6,000,000
• Depositing rubbish/waste on a roadside, or ditch attracts a maximum fine of up to UGX 6,000,000
• Depositing rubbish in a river, stream, lake, pond, canal or channel attracts a maximum fine of up to UGX 6,000,000
Management of plastics
• Importing, exporting, manufacturing, using or reusing plastic carrier bags or plastic products made of polymers of ethane (polythene) and propylene that are below 30 microns will attract a fine of up to UGX 100,000,000
• Dealing in activities that result in aggravated pollution or polluting the environment contrary to conditions contained in a pollution control license or permit, discharge or emission of pollutants into the environment contrary to approved standards attracts a maximum fine of up to UGX 6 billion
• Emitting noise in excess of the permissible noise levels will attract a maximum of up to UGX 10,000,000 upon conviction
• Failing to immediately reduce noise to a permissible noise level when required to do so, attracts a maximum fine of up to UGX 10,000,000.
Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and Audits
• Failure to conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Environment Risk Assessment for the projects that that require ESIA or ERA will attract a fine not exceeding UGX 1 billion for individuals or fifteen years in prison or both; and UGX 6 billion for corporate bodies
• Failure to conduct an annual environment audit will attract a penalty of up to UGX 1 billion or imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years or both
• Failure to display the complete certificate of approval of Environmental and social impact Assessment is up to UGX 1 billion for an individual and up to UGX 6 billion for a corporate entity
Wetlands River Banks and Lake Shores
• Destroying, damaging or disturbing a wetland in a manner that has or is likely to have an adverse effect on any plant or animal attracts a fine of up to UGX 3,000,000
• Failing/neglecting or refusing to protect a lakeshore in accordance with the regulations attracts a fine of up to UGX 3,000,000